1. John Wall – Point Guard, Washington Wizards
Played up to the hype in the Summer League and got better as the games went on. As part of Washington’s rebuilding effort, Wall is going to have the rock in his hands from start to finish this year and he’s the guy to beat.
2. Blake Griffin – Power Forward, Los Angeles Clippers
Coming off of a season ending injury a year ago, Griffin will try to remind everyone why he was the consensus number one guy out of last year’s draft. It almost feels wrong to not place him at the top of this list, but being out a year, he’s going to have to prove it all over again.
3. DeMarcus Cousins – Power Forward, Sacramento Kings
Started off very strongly, but tapered off in the Summer League games. His performance was still good enough to earn him NBA Rookie of the Month honors. While there’s other guys in Sacramento who could start ahead of him, Cousins will surely get plenty of run.
4. Derrick Favors – Power Forward, New Jersey Nets
Favors got better as the Summer League went on and turned out some pretty good performances. He should be starting next to Brooke Lopez come beginning of the season as the Nets will look to be a force in the paint with their new look offense.
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5. Wesley Johnson – Small Forward, Minnesota Timberwolves
Only had one game this summer due to a minor injury, but Johnson looked solid in that game. A very talented wing scorer who is a little older and more seasoned than pretty much everyone on this list. He’s going to get a chance right away in Minnesota and could become the second option behind Kevin Love.
6. Greg Monroe – Power Forward, Detroit Pistons
The potential for a guy this long and athletic are limitless. Monroe has shown all the tools necessary in scoring and passing to be an offensive force this season. Detroit is essentially rebuilding and he could become the centerpiece of that effort.
7. Evan Turner – Shooting Guard, Philadelphia 76ers
Slid down the list because he seemed to struggle in the Summer League as he adjusted to playing off the ball more than he’s used to. We know this kid can play, but it will be interesting to see how Turner will do in a supporting role for the Sixers these first couple years as opposed to being “the guy” in college.
8. Larry Sanders – Power Forward, Milwaukee Bucks
The long and lean power forward out of VCU showed great potential in his Summer League games, but his game is still quite raw. Sanders will probably come off the bench to start the year, but it wouldn’t surprise us to see him take over the duties mid-season.
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9. Paul George – Small Forward, Indiana Pacers
George did not shoot the ball well this summer, but showed some flashes of what kind of player he can become. He could easily move up this list, but right now we’re not even positive he’ll be the best rookie on his own team with the emergence of Lance Stephenson.
10. Ed Davis – Power Forward, Toronto Raptors
Davis will be one of the guys helping to fill the Chris Bosh void this upcoming season. He will most likely start behind Amir Johnson after they gave him all that cash this offseason, but Davis has the footwork and touch to become the great low post scorer for this team.